Victorian Children’s Literature

4 April 2015
This paper discusses various children’s stories from the Victorian period and shows how these stories were used to illustrate Victorian ideals and values that they wished to instill in their children.

This research paper examines children’s books from the second half of the nineteenth century. It examines the overt and covert control that these works exercised, and continue to exercise, over their readers. This paper also describes the language that Victorian writers used in children’s books to shape the actions, behavior and beliefs of their child readers, and the strategies they employed to persuade their readers to digest their messages.
`Many examples of Victorian literature adopt an authoritarian control over the children. Alice is framed as a conventional children’s story, from which we would expect advice, guidance and the like. Yet our expectations remain unfulfilled, for Carroll refuses to adopt a position of authority, or to invest with authority any character in the story, except perhaps Alice herself, which seems hardly acceptable by Victorian standards.

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However, no character in Alice is in the least ‘sincere’; arguably, not even Carroll is sincere, given the apparent gap between the introductory poem and the contents of the fiction. Carroll’s subversion of speech acts and the language of control operates throughout the book.`

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Victorian Children's Literature. (2015, Apr 23). Retrieved August 23, 2019, from
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